Celebrating the works of Gill Lewis

Hi everyone, this first week’s post is not just a book review. I hope to introduce you all to the amazing books written by an illustrious author whose books highlight a particular species of animal under threat around the world. So if you’re an animal lover or protector of the natural world, this is the read for you…

Gill Lewis’s first book I read was Scarlet Ibis and fell in love with her writing. That story captivated me into the plight of that remarkable bird as well as the human story. The other two I have read will be reviewed next. However, there are quite a lot of amazing books written by her out there and I’m only just discovering them all!! 

Gorilla Dawn in yellow writing at bottom of cover. Gill Lewis in white at top. middle image of girl holding ape walking towards large sun on horizon. orange sky above image of eyes and nose of gorilla.
An engaging read

Title: Gorilla Dawn

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Oxford University Press; 2015

What this book is about: Deep in the heart of the African jungle, a baby gorilla is captured by a group of rebel soldiers. Imara and Bobo are two children also imprisoned in this rebel’s camp. When they learn that the gorilla is destined to be sold into captivity, they swear to return it to the wild before it’s too late. But the consequences of getting caught are too terrible to think about. Will the bond between the gorilla and the children give them the courage they need to escape?

My review: What an amazing book!! Engaging, mesmerising and dramatic tear-jerking scenes, will leave you gripped to each chapter as you turn the pages. Some strong and formidable characters in young Imara and Bobo. I liked the change in the voice the narrative takes. It gives a lyrical quality to the story. This book made me think quite a bit. Not just about the plight of the eastern lowland gorilla in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but about how they are linked to our mobile phones. Gill Lewis includes at the end some notes explaining how the mining of the minerals that go into creating mobile phones result in habitat loss and poaching of this majestic animal. I thought this book was really well written and moved along quite steadily. Some parts were a bit too hard to read for me so I would suggest it better suited for older tweens or with adult guidance.

My rating: 4 ⭐

Sky dancer in white letters across middle of darkening sky. above white bird flying. below on top of hill boy pointing up with dog.
An engaging read

Title: Sky Dancer

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Oxford University Press; Oxford, 2017

What this book is about: Joe has always loved the moorland: the wildness, the freedom, the wide open spaces. But since his father died, everything has changed, and the moors are no longer a place of refuge. Now the whole community is divided over the fate of the hen harriers that nest there – and Joe is stuck in the middle, with a choice to make, and a huge secret to keep. Joe can’t keep everyone happy. But can he find the strength to fight for what he really believes?

My review: A lovely story of conservation and friendship. Written in Gill Lewis’ signature style, embedded with some awesome characters, that story took me from my armchair to the wild moors in the Peak District. The descriptions of the myriad of animals that call that area home is vibrant and vivid. I especially liked the notes Gill always writes to explain to us about the animals she features and how we can help protect them and their habitats. I hadn’t heard of ‘rewilding’ the landscape, bringing back the forests, until I read this book. Some amazing writing here. A great read for all ages!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

I really hope to read the others by Gill Lewis and learn more of the many animals and habitats she features!! If anyone knows of any other author like this, please let me know!!

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